Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Blue City

Morning call to prayer. Rain. Awesome shower. Jarrod forgot towel. Bus station. Vendors on bus. Crowded taxi. Guide. Ghetto hotel. Wander hills/Chefchaouen. Hash. Quiet. Night. Walk around. Cards on terrace. Talks and full moon.

At five fifteen I was pulled out of my sleep by the morning call to prayer. It is odd to wake to the calls of a man chanting incantations of his faith to God at five in the morning. The words are hypnotic. I drifted back to sleep. I awoke again to rain pattering on the roof.

And then I took an awesome shower. Jarrod did too after me. But he forgot his towel, so he didn't quite enjoy it as much as me. Then we had a very nice breakfast at the hotel. The woman there was a great cook but didn't speak enough English to help us figure out payment BUT luckily the guy from the night before came in and figured it all out. He was super helpful and took us to the bus station and figured out a ride for us to Chefchaouen. The bad news was that it was a private company and I am sure the bus was about to break down the whole way. Everything was crowded and muddy.

While we waited on the bus, vendors came on the bus subway style and tried to convert me and sell me snacks. I don't understand enough of the language to really be bothered, but they were still kind of a funny nuisance. Then we were off to the countryside of Morocco. And I am pretty sure that we stopped at one point to actually fix the bus.

Oh yeah, did I mention that we couldn't actually catch a bus to chefchaouen? Well, we couldn't. Instead we stopped about 7km outside town and took a taxi in. A crowded taxi. Where no one spoke the language. It was awkward. But it worked.

We got in and had no idea where we were. Asked a cop to help us. But he wasn't very helpful, he only spoke french, and we only spoke spanish and english. Shit.

So we tried our best with what we understood. Which was very little. And we headed up. Then luck, a kind of scary dude that said he worked for our hotel took us to our destination. He was very helpful. And he kept trying to sell us hash. Hmmm...

The hotel was Ghetto. Pension Souika. Way ghetto. But it gets the job done. Oh, and the guy that was an “employee” for the hotel? Well, he was just a drug dealer. Skeezy but nice. Oh and everyone is always offering you hash. Watch out for cop traps though.

Went to the hills and walked to see the city on the hill. It is a beautiful town in the mountains, absolutely stunning. Blue and whitewashed buildings. And quiet. Something we haven't had in the bustling Spanish metropolis for a long time.

After dinner we wandered around some more. The city is quiet. And beautiful. Surreal, like a dream. Wandering through dimly lit streets painted pastel frosting blue. A memory, a dream. Something not quite there.

Then we played cards on the terrace. And there are a shit ton of Spaniards here. They are kind of ignorant. Always asking where the beer is. There isn't an abundance of alcohol here and drinking seems to be generally frowned upon. And Americans still have the bad rap.

We talked on the terrace and looked at a full moon over Chefchaouen. We are spoiled American brats.